FERTILISER use at present is restricted to the grassland areas where sales have settled and prices have changed little – if at all.

Meanwhile all eyes are turned to the arable east where the Cereals event has often signalled the start of the pre-harvest nitrogen market.

This year, both merchants and manufacturers have been rather coy about quoting at the event and, surprisingly, farmers seem much less interested in pursuing prices than usual.

The “big three” have now all declared their prices for the nitrogen season as Terra announced its prices this week.

Nitram on-farm delivered will be about £92 pay November or £92.50 pay December. Cash deals for large tonnages have been reported at £88.

The problem for the trade now is to translate those prices into deliveries. Britain is awash with nitrogen fertiliser and the industry needs to stimulate movement but at the same time avoid prices falling to an even less sustainable level.

It is reasonable to speculate therefore that there could be some incentive for fixed quantities of product to move on farm just below £90 to stimulate the pre-harvest market. We should expect the price to return to £90-92 thereafter.

There still remains a significant gap between the hopes and expectations of merchants supplying large group orders and the willingness of the manufacturer to support ultra-low pricing.

Expectations of £82/t for domestic material are unrealistic at present and the high £80s would seem nearer the mark.

Meanwhile, at Cereals 99, Terra launched “Spring-K”, a size-matched 22.0.22 blend for top-dressing which addresses the deficit of potash in many arable crops.

But it also provides Terra with an opportunity to utilise a few more tonnes of AN prills.

Kemira and Hydro concentrated on their increasingly sophisticated advisory packages which must be coming ever more difficult to sustain at present fertiliser price levels.

CURRENT MARKETS

NITROGEN

Group Orders, domestic nitrogen

Cash, large orders pre-harvest

Pre-harvest delivery pay November

Small loads pay November

Imported nitrogen

£88 – few orders yet

£88

£92

£98

£76-£80 – few imports

 

GREAT BRITAIN

 

20.10.10

complex/blend*

KN

KNS

20.5.15

England/Wales Grassland Markets

110-115/

105-110

90-92

90-92

90-92

England Arable Markets

No Market

93-96

93-96

93-96

Scotland

108-112/

103-108

88-95

88-95

88-95

*Complex fertilisers are those where typically all nutrients are combined in one granule.

 

IRELAND

 

CAN

27.6.6 complex

25.5.5 complex

24.6.12 complex

Northern Ireland

96-100

128-130

118-120

125-128

 

CAN

27.2 Omega.5

18.6.12

10.10.20

Republic of Ireland*

108-112

140-145

143-150

156-160

*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK..

*Prices in the Republic are IR£

 

FORTHCOMING MARKETS

Anticipated general prices from 01 June

N/S (High S)

N/S (Low S)

PK. 0.24.24

92

88-92

120

 

BACKGROUND MARKET

Products not currently traded in volume

0.24.24

15.15.20

17.17.17

120

130-135

135-140

Note All illustrated prices are based upon 20 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.

Source: Bridgewater Associates